Posts Tagged ‘ Tiger Woods ’

Extra Time Needed If Replays Not Being Covered


It’s a travesty to say that the G.A.A. have turned down the opportunity to show the Leinster semi-final replay between Kilkenny and Galway. The drawn game last Sunday was an advertisement for what is possible in sport. For Galway to recover from what seemed to be an unassailable Kilkenny lead just shows what this sport is all about. Fat ladies and all that may have been mentioned with ten minutes to the final whistle but no one in their right mind could imagine that she wouldn’t get to sing a note. It’s difficult to work out the reasons for not showing this game live. Do the G.A.A. seriously believe that players will be working the morning of a championship match? That’s one of the reasons John Horan, Chairman of the Leinster Council gave as not to play the game at 2.30, it would be unfair on the players to give up a full Saturday. The fact that Tullamore is a busy town on a Saturday was also taken into consideration for not having the early start. 12,000 plus people attending a match, a negative for a town? Seriously? This year’s Munster championship replay between Cork and Waterford was streamed live on RTE Player instead of television and the resulting coverage was far from ideal, it was a poor effort to say the least. In last years Leinster championship, the semi-final replay between Kilkenny and Dublin was also reduced to internet viewing. The message coming down from the top to grass roots level is to promote the game, promote the game, promote the game and yet when they get a chance themselves, they fail miserably. Continue reading

Could Irish Eyes Smile At Augusta?


With Tiger Woods withdrawing from next week’s Masters at Augusta, Irish golf fans will be tingling with anticipation. If history is anything to go by, then one of the Irish players will be the first from this country to don the famous green jacket. The last four majors that Tiger didn’t tee it up in were all won by Irishmen. The 2008 British Open was won by our very own Padraig Harrington, he followed this by claiming the PGA title later in the same year. In 2011 Rory McIlroy decimated a tiger-less U.S. Open field and in the same year Darren Clarke ended his major drought with a win at the British Open. With Clarke and McIlroy already in the field for the trip down Magnolia Lane, they both will try and fine tune their games for this years first major by competing in Houston this week. Harrington will be joining them in Texas but knows that only a win will allow him to extend his unbroken run of majors to thirty four, his exemption from his two major wins in 2008 now expired. The other Irishman in the Masters field are Graeme McDowell who is taking a break this from action this week after his exploits representing Europe in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last week. As the highest ranked of the Irish, Rory McIlroy may have the best chance and he has gained much experience since his Masters back nine collapse in 2011 but McDowell too may have a say. Continue reading

Funniest Sports Quotes


We have heard them all over the years but I must say that I did get a laugh from revisiting some of these classics. Some are just comments that haven’t been thought through, others are from sports people that probably still can’t see the funny side and others are just from those that are plain thick and yes Kevin Keegan does appear in the list more than once. Brian O’Driscoll once said that, ‘knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad’. Now that’s a good quote, see what you think of these and feel free to contribute any that you think would merit a mention.

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Golf: Every Dog Has His Day


Matt Every finished off a 2 under par 70 to claim his first PGA tour win at the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational yesterday. The 30 year old started the day four shots behind current Masters champion Adam Scott who was playing just behind him with another major winner Keegan Bradley.

The day belonged to Every obviously but the real news story is Scott’s collapse at the end of a week that he had looked infallible. Scott opened his scoring on Thursday with a course record equalling 62 and by the time play finished on Friday evening, the Australian had managed to open up a seven shot lead over the field, the eventual winner Matt Every was a full nine shots behind the leader at the half way point. Going into the final round, Scott had a three shot lead over his playing partner Keegan Bradley and a four shot lead over Every. Scott although a major champion after winning last year’s Masters at Augusta has shown a major chink in his armour. Continue reading

McCririck: Female Athletes Should Earn Less

John McCririck on SLTV

“It hasn’t been a great year for me” admits John McCririck. Having been sacked by Channel 4 and losing the resulting age discrimination case after being branded ‘unpalatable to a wider audience’, McCririck has once again put his foot in it, this time on Sportlobster TV.

The UK’s most recognisable horse racing pundit, referencing his time in the Big Brother house, said: “I was in there with Germaine Greer who has ruined the lives of millions of women. Her feminist book, The Female Eunuch, gives women ideas above their station. Ideas they keep striving for but cannot reach. I can’t stand the woman for what she stands for.” Continue reading

Tiger Ready To Rule In 2014


World number one, Tiger Woods, believes next year’s major venues will give him a superb chance of ending his five-year major championship drought. The 14-time Major winner has returned to the top of the game in 2013 despite not winning a Major, picking up five titles this year, including two World Golf Championships.

While Woods will be the favourite for all four majors with those who bet on golf, there is added reason the American is confident of adding to his 14 major titles next year, with the 37-year-old returning to happy hunting grounds in all four host venues.  Continue reading

Lance Was Right – It Was Never About The Bike

Epitome Of Greatness : Natural Born Cheat

Giants of sport cast shadows.  None have been bigger than those cast by Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods.  They are era-defining sportsmen.  Since the late nineties they have dominated the sporting landscape.  In a recent memoir by Tiger Woods’ coach Hank Haney, the golfer was painted as miserly because he never even offered the coach a ‘popsicle’ from his fridge.  In contrast Armstrong’s fridge door was always open for team-mates to dope.  Tiger has seen his off course exploits strewn all over the headlines since his brush with a fire hydrant outside his Florida home which demolished his squeaky clean façade.  But Tiger’s achievements on the course are undiminished.  No cloud hangs over his 14 major championships.  Armstrong’s legacy is now rubbished.

Lance Armstrong’s memoir depicting his redemptive struggle against cancer and his subsequent unprecedented seven Tour De France titles was called, ‘It’s Not About The Bike’.  Armstrong was right.  It was never about the bike.  It was about the most elaborate doping scandal in sporting history.  Armstrong was its leader according to the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) report which was released last night.

I was once a supporter of Armstrong.  Having read his books and followed events I bought into his propaganda.  It was naivety on my part; a want to believe in a neat sporting hero story, a miracle comeback from the de profundis of cancer to the peaks of the Alps.  When Armstrong announced that he would no longer seek to defend his name those who previously fought for him had to re-evaluate events.  Anyone who has followed his story knows that he never gives up.  So his resignation was a clear white flag, an indirect admission of guilt.  Armstrong still hides behind a proclaimed innocence clinging on somehow to the fact that he never failed a drug test on the tour.  Of course that is not entirely true as he did fail a test in 1999 but the UCI, cycling’s governing body, accepted a backdated medical prescription as evidence and the positive was struck from the record.

On the 24th of August Lance publicly withdrew his fight against the Usada.  Armstrong is a master tactician, he knew that this fight was too big even for him.  But expect a retort from the ‘Livestrong’ camp.  For the moment he seemed willing to accept the guilt that has come from the Usada report rather than fight it in public.  But the game is up for Lance.  His seven Tour De France titles, won from 1999 – 2005, were stripped from him and he was given a lifetime ban from the sport.  Fighting the charges would have led to a public trial where all the evidence would be fleshed out.  It seems that even by giving in he couldn’t prevent the public humiliation. However he knows that a sentimental few will not be swayed by this overwhelming proof.  Even that crowd is thinning.  Nike, his sponsors, have stood by him.  But the litmus test will come when he has to fulfill public appearances for them.  If he is booed Nike will face a public opinion dilemma.

Over the years the Sunday Times correspondent David Walsh fought a public battle against Armstrong in his search for the truth.  Walsh was the original whistleblower.  On the day Lance won his first Tour title in 1999 Walsh was a lone sceptic.  He wrote in his column, “This afternoon I will be keeping my arms by my side because I’m not sure this is something we should applaud.”  His questioning at the time was just an instinct from someone who was immersed in the tour.  Initially he lacked the evidence but he built his case.   Written off as a cynic he saw himself ostracized by his colleagues who had too much to lose by alienating Armstrong.  For instance, he was excluded from a press van by fellow journalists for fear that Lance would see him riding with them and they’d miss out on copy.  We have recently seen this type of behaviour, from the Catholic Church to the BBC, whereby the institution is protected rather than the behaviour condemned.  Armstrong’s legal machine fought a libel war quashing any allegations that surfaced.  He took action against Walsh and the Sunday Times and won a settlement.  Yesterday’s report is a vindication for Walsh who spent a decade rightfully questioning the biggest name in cycling.

The damning 1,000 page USADA report states that Armstrong not only doped but actively promoted the use of doping amongst his US Postal and Discovery teams.  The mantra went that cycling was a dirty sport and Armstrong’s team were going to be the best at those dark arts.  If racers didn’t comply they were excluded and there would be no place for them on the team.  Nobody is trying to say Armstrong acted alone in this.  He needed the active support and collusion of his Italian team doctor named Michelle Ferrari.  Ferrari ensured that Lance and his doping team were always ahead of the testing.  Extracts online show details of Armstrong depositing large sums into Ferrari’s account. At times they seemed to mock the authorities lack of sophistication in chasing them.

Cycling’s omerta has been lifted as eleven former team-mates of Armstrong gave sworn testimony against him and detailed their involvement in the conspiracy.  In return for this cooperation they have had their bans reduced. George Hincapie, who rode with Armstrong for his seven tour victories, admitted his role in the doping.  Those previously put off by Armstrong’s litigation monster will find voice.  With the publishing of this report we will no longer see evidence surface as though through a drip instead reams will appear buoyed by the mountain of evidence.

For many this report is just confirmation.  For those who asked, “where’s the evidence” it’s all here.  For a brave few it’s vindication.  One question remains, will Lance Armstrong ever come clean to the world and those loyal fans he has duped for so long?  But might there be a bigger question here.  Where is the rehabilitation for those who abuse performance enhancing drugs in sport?  Armstrong has no incentive to break his own silence, what would be his motivation for confessing?

Scott Collapses As Els Wins Open

Ernie Els has won the British open by one shot after Adam Scott incredibly collapsed during the last four holes on an incident packed final day. Scott started the day 4 shots ahead of his nearest challenger Graeme McDowell and appeared to be coasting towards the Claret Jug as he held on to the advantage going into the final six holes.

However, the Australian was to bogey every one of the last four holes as he allowed Els to clinch his fourth major championship. The South-African hit a two-under par 68 to claim his second Claret Jug, 10 years after he won his first.

Scott slipped to second place with a disappointing final day round of 75. His remarkable failure to hold his nerve at the four final holes meant that he finished three shots ahead of the next best competitors, Tiger Woods and once leader Brandt Snedeker. Playing alongside Scott was McDowell, but he too had a sub-standard finish to his Open as he also carded a 75 and finished in fifth place.

It had all looked so good for the overnight leader when he sunk a birdie putt on the fourteenth hole, but the 32-year-old Aussie bogeyed the next three holes whereas Els had finished his tournament much stronger with a birdie at the last.

Scott walked onto the 18th tee knowing that a par would force a four-hole play-off, and despite finding a fairway bunker with his drive, he was still in with a chance of finishing level on 7 under, level with Els. Indeed Scott got the chance to save par when he hit his third shot to within eight feet of the hole, but it was not to be for the Australian as he completed his rather spectacular disintegration with yet another bogey.